Visionary thought bound in progressive design

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Something Lived, Something Dreamed: Urban Design and the American West

Designer, Creative Director: Victoria Hindley
Client: Red Butte Press, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah


Founded in 1984, the award-winning Red Butte Press is dedicated to preserving the tradition of fine press publishing. Something Lived, Something Dreamed is a limited-edition fine press book, with 125 copies made by hand. The essay is an impassioned manifesto calling for sustainable urban design — a “poetic urbanism”— in Western cities. Red Butte Press commissioned and oversaw the development of this precedent-setting essay by acclaimed architect, designer, and visionary William McDonough.

     The primary objective of the project was to bring the highest level of bookmaking together with the most forward-thinking, significant writing on sustainable urban design, thereby communicating the value of both. In keeping with the essay, the book was created in the spirit of high-quality sustainable design. Under the direction of Red Butte Press creative director Victoria Hindley, over fifty people throughout the country and Italy collaborated closely to bring the project to fruition. The binding is made with recycled aluminum specially fabricated for the project by Alcoa and wood from a sycamore tree reclaimed from an urban construction site. The paper is 100% cotton and chemical-free and was commissioned by the Press from Magnani Mill in Italy. Over 35,000 Univers type characters were cast from hot metal and composed by hand. The text was printed by hand on Red Butte’s centerpiece 1846 Columbian press. The letterpress monoprints, inked by hand with four to six colors, contain slight variations, making every book unique. The physical form of the book is thus a deeply considered design solution that reflects the philosophy of the essay. 

     The audience includes university libraries, urban developers, designers, architects, museums, book dealers, and individual book collectors. Additionally, through Red Butte Press programming, the book reaches the public through presentations, exhibitions, festivals, book launch events, and lectures on sustainable design and fine press bookmaking.

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